Business Tips

Staying connected & productive from home

Challenging times call for creative solutions

With coronavirus spreading, the only thing that’s certain is that our lives are going to be a whole lot different for the near future. Many businesses are shutting their doors, officials are encouraging us to isolate ourselves, and the realities of working from home are setting in (if work is an option at all).

As hard as it can be to focus at a stressful time like this, working remotely and trying to stay productive is a great way to pass the time. But of course, that’s easier said than done. And with many schools closed, juggling family and work can be a nightmare. We’ve compiled a few useful tips to help you get by until things cool down.

1. Stay Busy

With the economy at a virtual standstill, many small businesses simply can’t operate. So why not take this opportunity to attack that other to-do list? You know, get your accounting in order. Polish your website or portfolio. Take a break from the news. Prep your taxes. Learn a new skill through online courses or tutorials. Take another break from the news. And if you really can’t focus, exercise or start spring cleaning early.

2. Update Clients and Customers

Your customers might be wondering what’s happening with your business. Are you closed? Have adjusted hours? Working, but remotely? Set up a custom voicemail and Auto-Reply message to keep your clients or customers informed as the COVID-19 situation evolves. And if you can still serve them, stay connected throughout the day over the phone.

3. Keep Your Kids on a Schedule

Kids need structure to be effective learners. But structure is even more critical when they’re stuck at home with varying degrees of self-motivation. If your kids’ aren’t already virtually attending class, try to mimic a regular school day yourself. Set scheduled time for each subject, projects, reading, art, and even lunch and recess. It certainly takes a little prep and planning on your part, but it will (hopefully) keep the little ones busy so you can focus on other things.

4. Collaborate With Your Team

Moving a team to remote work can be challenging for certain industries and impossible for others. But if your business can pull it off, there are plenty of communication tools out there to help your team work effectively. If you use Sideline, try getting your whole team into a group chat. You can even log in and use your Sideline number from your desktop.

5. Get Creative

If necessity is the mother of invention, then extenuating circumstances are the father of innovation. Could your flower shop have an online monthly subscription? Can your barbershop go mobile and meet customers at their doorstep? What if your gym had a series of online classes? Why don’t food trucks deliver? Try brainstorming ways your business could evolve to meet the needs of a social-distancing consumer. Who knows, you might stumble upon an idea that works well into the future once this pandemic subsides.

Photo Credit: @mindytingson via Twenty20